Tuesday, December 20, 2011

LIST of ARTICLES on GATE 2012 (Quick Look) (Last Update 20 / 12 / 2011)

(Last update on 20 / 12 / 2011, title :  Is it difficult to keep moving with GATE preparation? )

I have been writing about the GATE and its preparation from a quite long time, and I must suggest you to visit INSPIRE n IGNITE from where I got motivated and started sharing the knowledge I have. My teacher always use to say "You can not clear entrance only by studying, you have to be SMARTER than others to crack entrance". And all article will prove his words. SMARTEST is something which is beyond our syllabus and studies.

1) A comment to my favorite blog 'www.inspirenignite.com'
2) GATE 2012 ECE Test Series
3) My approach to solve GATE paper (GATE 2012 ECE)
4) Things to do '/To learn technical concepts' for GATE
5) How our brain works during studies & exams – Part 1 (about studies)
6) How our brain works during studies & exams – Part 2 (about Examination)
7) How to handle pressure of preparation during last two months for GATE
8) Is it difficult to keep moving with GATE preparation?

If you like the articles, kindly follow this blog. And if you have anything to say, just leave a comment or mail. I will definitely get back to you.

Is it difficult to keep moving with GATE preparation?

Last 50 days to do and if you are still struggling with the preparation procedure, then do you think, it is a big reason to worry. Ofcourse not.! First of all, to all the aspirants, who want to qualify in GATE, you must know what GATE is all about. 
GATE question paper mainly contains around 80 marks of basic question which can be solved using "conceptual + some formula". If you still start reading and doing some practicing, you will definately going to get some huge amount of benefits. All you need is to keep yourself motivated, inspired and force yourself to move and study for 6-7 hours per day or even more. 
If you just want to qualify in GATE then don't run behind all subjects. Select 4 subjects + maths and study them, practice them. For ECE, I will suggest to take the following subjects :
1) Mathematics (after all 15 marks depends on it) 
2) Networks (one of the basic subject and can help in many other)
3) Signals and Systems (Laplace and Fourier contains ready made formula list, all you have to do is mug-up)
4) Control System (System stability has prime importance, And for that you should know Routh Array, Bode and Nyquist. These topics are not tough at all but initially will consume some time to get in flow, and one more small topic "Steady state error")
5) Electromagnetic / Other - (Electromagnetic's syllabus is very short, and many question upto 7 marks can be seen from this topic. If you have patience then do prepare this subject. Many of us finds this subject very difficult, but its worth reading for 5 - 7 marks)
And remember General Apptitude is still a plus for all, coz of us have already prepared for PLACEMENTS.

You can even analyse your branch (except ECE) subjects and select 4 subjects & a Maths.
Now, for me, do one exercise, open up any GATE previous paper and try to calculate how many marks you could get if you study this way (with minimum 70% accuracy, mean if you getting 63.3 marks then multiply by 0.7 factor to get rough accuracy limit). Still its not bad isn't it, if you just want to qualify the GATE.
Do not confuse yourselves with GATE game, just do some study and keep moving, keep your mind relax from external factors, avoid FACEBOOK, ORKUT, TWITTER for 50 days (and its worth if you clear GATE) Just surf internet about GATE and thats it. 
Look guys, its our mind who is going to play a vital role in GATE preparation and examination, so its our duty to not disturbe it. Be COOL, Be ReLaX and study. If you want to can watch a movie of 2 hours daily and even take 2 hours noon nap daily still you will have 6-7 hours in hand (for those who preparing for GATE through home or coaching classes). THINK OVER IT. All THe BeS

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

How to handle pressure of preparation during last two months for GATE

I have seen in many forums and orkut community that many aspirants asks about preparation steps, ebook (to be precise 'reference books'), etc. Now since we have left with less than 2 months for GATE 2012, very few are on the track (obvio that is the reason, they will get 1000 less AIR). But many how struggling and finding difficult to manage time due to their jobs, college (final year project), girlfriends (:P), television, less focus, etc etc, this article is specially for them. 
GATE is a competitive exam and you must have read many time on internet or heard from your seniors, that questions asked in GATE are basic but conceptually tricky and that's the reason they suggest to follow reference books. But particular for ECE / EE, there are 9 subjects in all and its next to impossible to read all 9 reference books thoroughly and remember most of it. Yeah! One can complete reading all 9 reference book within the period of one month but whats the use if he can't remember. 
As per my individual opinion, if you haven't studied till date and still want to crack the GATE (i.e. to score decent marks) and you was average or above students during your academic years or you have less time to study because of your tight schedule then stop thinking about reference books. All you need is concepts and there are notes available in market which are good at providing concepts to the aspirants in simplified ways. Once you know the concept, you need to practice it. Practice is just to keep the particular concept in your mind for a long time and to prevent ourselves falling in the tricks of the paper setters. Since almost 8 weeks are remaining, start giving 1 week per subject. Plan your time and work accordingly. If possible practice as much as you can. 
Since, you have cleared your academics years and now appearing for GATE, you will not be that bad in your technical concepts and application. Just use it. GATE syllabus is based on the topics which we have learnt and cleared during academic years. All you need is more confidence and give sincerely 4-5 hours per day practice or studying. 
There are so many good (not so good, just good enough to qualify the GATE). If you are from Mumbai or nearby, I will strongly suggest you to get Vidyalankar GATE Notes. You can Google 'Vidyalankar, dadar'. They are bit cheap and you can have them in just 7,000/- apprx. I am personally using these notes and pretty happy about them. If you are from Delhi or North, you can get GATEFORUM  material. The only problem with GATEFORUM material is that they haven't explained many concepts, but they do have ready-made formula list on each and every topic of GATE syllabus. Even you can look out for IES Made Easy material. I have no idea about the material. If you belong from Hyderabad or Bangluru or nearby, I have heard a lot about ACE Academy, have a look at their material. If you are professional in technical field (i.e. doing some technical job) or final year student, then I strongly recommended you to with BRILLIANT TUTORIAL NOTES (from Chennai), BRILLIANT TUTORIAL do have postal service but they are bit costly, you can have them around 17,000/- apprx. Or else you can google about the notes and there are ample number of fellow students who provides xeroxed material of BRILLIANT NOTES at around 5,000/- apprx. 
Last few week in hand, and is the only chance to chase your dreams, your ambition by qualifying GATE. So stop wasting time and start studying. If you give almost 5 hours per day, you will definately be able to qualify the GATE and can go to some good reputed college. 
Feel free comment or mail your doubts and queries. As per they say, Knowledge grows when shared. I will try my best to help you in your doubts. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

How our brain works during studies & exams – Part 2 (about Examination)

[Disclaimer : Sorry for uploading the write-up bit late then committed time.]

In the last write-up, I tried to explain 'How our mind stores data (information which we read)' And I am glad I got some response. I request all the followers who read this blog, if you have any question or a word of appreciation then kindly leave a comment below, this will help me improving myself and my writing.

If you haven't follow the PART 1 (click here) of this series then kindly go through it, because this write-up is based on the previous one. In the last write-up i.e. Part 1 of the series, we had seen how to study. I would like to add some highlights or recall few skill which we had seen. 
1. Do study for short hours may be 1 or 2 and then take break.
2. During break, one should not do things which involve brain in it, like one should avoid watching TV serials, movies, etc etc

By following this 2 simple points, we can keep our brain away from fatigue/tiredness during preparatory stage. Now let see about EXAM hours. Its an irony. Though we studies for short hours (1 or 2) during our preparatory stage but during EXAM we have to write/solve paper for 3 hours non-stop, that too under pressure of performance. 
We selected to study for short hours to avoid tiredness of brain but during exam we have giving our 200% for 3 hours. So one may ask why not our brain gets fatigue/tired during examination? Yes, it does and thats the reason most of use feel sleepy after Maths paper or any exam. And also we used to sleep after the paper for 1 or 2 hours. Specially in GATE, where you have to perform and due to negative marking, one need to keep himself alert all the time and if he looses his alertness, in the end of the exam hours, he may end up marking guess answers and may get them wrong i.e. negative marks. 

So as per my theory, 'How to solve exam paper' is bit different story. I have seen people (who cleared exam already) advice us to go through the whole paper and solve what you know. Then after going through the paper, restart it again and solve those problem which you face difficult earlier and some stuff like this. I am not saying this approach is wrong, but one should know how things work during exam. 

As I stated earlier post, everything we can remember is in the SUB-CONSCIOUS mind and it is bit slow is storing than CONSCIOUS mind which gets data/information too fast. If this is the case while storing and the case will remain same during exam hours as well. Sub-conscious mind will work slowly and recall data slowly. So to match up the speed, we were told by our parents or mentor, in schooling days, to go through the paper once, read all question once and then start solving paper. Because of reading question, our conscious brain get data in the form of question and start recall answers from sub-conscious brain. And when I give him ample of time to process the slow data coming from sub-conscious, I will not commit mistake. It is just the synchronizing between the slow 'sub-conscious' and fast 'conscious' brain. All you need is to give ample amount of time to them, so that data/information/answers can be recalled.
But in competitive exams, like GATE, IIT-JEE, AIEEE, MHT-CET, AIPMT, etc , time is the key. They have given less time to solve the paper with huge syllabus all together. Like in GATE, we have almost 9 subjects in detail and have to solve the paper in just 3 hours. It means I need to recall all 9 subjects in just 3 hours. If my brain had a microprocessor chip, it must have burnt off.

How to solve the competitive exam paper accurately without getting our brain tired?
See logic is simple, take breaks during exam as well. Dont worry about time factor, this is just to trick you. If your brain works stable, it will recall and do calculation with above average speed. Remember, we used to study during the early hours of days (morning 4am or 5 am) and cover most the topics in just 2 hours or so, which could have take more than 4 hours if I had studies them during day time. This is because, in morning our mind is stable (ofcourse due to whole night sleep). Same way in exam hours, if you give your mind rest, then it will work absolutely fine. (there are things which we can't describe, we can just observe or feel them) You can this method during your practice session and if you feel its good, use it otherwise your wish.
=> While starting exam paper, you should not panic and lose confidence by just looking at the examiner or paper bundle in his/her hand. (And this things happens because we were in lot of pressure just before exam starts, and must avoid this kind of panic attacks). Once your start is good, you already won the first step. 
=> Normally all of us, take out our pen/pencil, ruler scale, eraser, etc just before the examiner enters. My advice is once you get question / answer paper in your hand, take our the stuff you want, instead of all. This is steal few second for slow process of sub-conscious / or getting adjust to the pressure. Remember, under pressure, nothing in the Universe works well.
=> As soon as you get your paper, pray a little for 10-15 seconds, don't open your question paper as soon as you touch it. This will keep you relax and away from pressure. 
=> Once you ready to start solve, you have wasted 1 minute in taking out stuff from compass box and praying and more over you tired to keep yourself relax and away pressure. Just one minute and benefits are immense, then why not use them
=> Now, as your are ready to solve. Take a bit different approach, same approach which we use to take in school (especially in GATE or all national level examination). Go through the paper and try to categories the question in different categories. There will be some theoretical question whose answer you might know readily, just mark them up. 
During my GATE paper, I, personally, over look all the question and categories them in the 9 subjects which we have in syllabus.
=> After categorizing the question, start solving with the subject you are confident of and move towards the harder one.
=> (This step of advice is amazing and I personally to do this). Try to solve the whole paper twice during 3 hours instead of just once. And believe me (or try once with yourself) it is possible. and had many psychological benefits. Remember, the dialogue from '3 IDIOTS' which is something like this "... Uss din ek baat samaj mein aayi... Ye jo dil hai na bada darpok hai, Isko bevakuf banake rakho, Life main kitni bhi badi problem ho isko bolo, “Aal Izz Well…” , Isse problem solve ho na ho, Lekin usko jhelne ki himmat aa jati hai" same way when you convince yourself to solve the same paper twice in 3 hours it will have magic. Actually you are not going to solve twice practically but you going try to make yourself fool. And it works for me and my all students and friends, my brother and sister as well. 
=> All you need to do is, after categorizing the subject, start solving starting with easiest one of your choice (this will try to boost your confidence level and remove panic attacks during exam hours). And you are not sure of the answer, just mark the question. There going to be only two possibilities, either you know the answer or not. So once you don't have answer (means you are not sure of the answer) just mark the question and move further. Remember, till now I haven't made any bubbles on my answer sheet i.e. OMR sheet. And complete the paper once. 
=> During second attempt, just confirm all the answer you got in first attempt and do bubbling and after completing that solve the not attempted ones. And the procedure stated till now must take 2 hours or few minutes more. 
And now you have ample of time to recall the difficult ones. And now lets talk about breaks. If you are comfortable, then try to mumming or even singing (in low voice, so that others may not get disturbed) your favorite track. (Because if it is your favorite, it involved your heart and not your brain while singing). Or you can even talk to yourself in heart without making any noise. This will keep your mind diverting from the question and get time to recall concepts or formula.

One can even adopt the above method in their work ofcourse with modifications, since during working hours, we face the same thing which we faced during exam hours, same pressure, same panic attacks, same excitment. 

Here I complete the 2 series write-up of 'How brain works 1) during studies, & 2) during exam hours'. The idea of this write-up is came from Zahid Sir's blog Inspire N Ignite

Monday, December 5, 2011

How our brain works during studies & exams – Part 1 (about studies)

Today morning, Zahid sir from Inspire & Ignite posted the 3rd and final video of interview with Nikhil Krishnan. This video was all about the main 3 hours during GATE EXAM, strategies to follow, how to solve paper, how we score more by avoiding negative marking , etc etc. I was expecting something big but it was ordinary for me. Though the 2nd part of the series of 3 videos was fantastic, I liked it very much.
This write-up is all about our mental state during studies and something about unconscious parameter of the brain.
Most of us heard from many of our seniors, parents, mentor that we should not study for long hours. Study for 1 or 2 hours and take a break. In break, don’t watch TV, but have some tea/coffee, do stretching exercise, listen good music, roam on terrace and many more in the list. Have you thought about this? Why did all suggest one or the same thing? I will tell you the secret reasons behind it.
I started up a coaching class due to a tragedy after my degree. I take this coaching class as my part-time profession. As a part of this part-time profession, I had to go to training and fortunately I had done a special type of training in ‘students psychology’ and got not much, but little experience of 2 and half years. During this time, I was using this knowledge of psychology on my students and saw many students jumped up in their ranks and in final results. So here I start the main topic about this write up.
Our brain and its memorizing power is amazing. Our brain mainly consist 3 parts (as per their consciousness i.e. on the basis of their part in the activities we do) viz., unconscious brain, sub-conscious brain and conscious brain.
People say, unconscious brain holds the information from our pastlife or something like that, though I personally don’t believe this and discussion about it is out of the scope of this write-up. Second and most important part of brain (memory point of view) is SUB-CONSCIOUS brain. Everything we do, we read, we talk, just everything is actually done by our conscious brain (i.e. reflexes) and still we manage to remember most of it.
Whenever we do something, our conscious brain gets data and stores in instantaneously. But this conscious brain memory is volatile (just like our computer’s RAM) so brain needs to store this data in permanent memory and this process of storing into permanent memory was done by sub-conscious brain. But there is one problem associated with the process. The rate at which our conscious brain gets data is much more than the rate at which sub-conscious brain stores it i.e. brain gets data much faster but stores it into permanent memory slowly, so there exists some time delay. And this is the major problem with students. I have seen many students forgetting derivations or answer half the way during exam. This is because sub-conscious brain didn’t get enough time to store and simply that data got lost. So after reading sometime, we need to take break and this break should be of kind where we don’t get more data to store. And that’s why during preparation stage, we are advised to take break after reading for 1-2 hours, so that all that we read gets ample of time to store in brain memory.
Also, when we study for 1-2 hours, many of us were just seating on chair and not moving their body. Due to this, our muscles may gets affected by some way. And thus we need to refresh them as well, because whenever we again seat for study after break, we won’t like any kind of muscular pain disturbing us. To avoid this typical pain, we are advised to take a stretch-out exercise. Neck, hand, waist, wrist, legs, ankles exercise (rolling exercise which we used to do in school) are more than sufficient to relax your muscle, even one can do leg and body stretching (as we used to do before cricket match in school/college).  
This way we can utilize our brain power to the fullest and our brain don’t get tired of doing one thing for long time (i.e. studies). And one more thing, many people complain about sleep during studies, they feel sleepy when they study and this happens because your mind is tired and need rest. Sleep is a signal for brain fatigue state. So whenever you feel sleepy during studies, go to washroom and wash your face with cold water (if possible also use soap) and then don’t back to studies directly instead roam here and there for few minutes (not more than 10 minutes) and then back on studies, if you still feel sleepy means your brain is really tired to work and its better to take a nap for at least 45 minutes. 45 minutes nap is enough to restore your brain to working state. And remember one should not study directly after waking up. Give your body muscle ample of time to get settle because study is not only related with brain but also your body and muscle. If your are fit and your body muscles are fresh, you can study more easily and speedily. And this is the reason why our grand-parents say us to study in early morning. But being lazy ass, we never get up early and don’t realize the power of waking up early.
In part 2, I will be discussing about the brain state during exam, and what points we must keep in mind while solving exam paper.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Things to do '/To learn technical concepts' for GATE

As I am a voracious reader and read almost all reference books from most of the subjects for my GATE preparation. And now I should feel happy, but this is not the case. When I read books, I know the concept, but its volatile. When I try to recall few of them, I just go blank. And I am trying to find the reason for it. When I read the books, I just kept reading. Some times even 2-3 times. But the small and conceptual things which are given in reference books are not come handy. Sometimes there are volatile (In my case, of them are volatile).
Now I wish, if I could have done practice as well from the problems given at the back of each chapter, I would be able to remember some of the concepts. As of now, while practicing numericals and problems from Electrical Networks, I have to open up the book to look for the shortcuts if they are there. Its bit time consuming. For all the juniors how will start preparing for GATE later this year, try to practice the concepts from the reference book problems itself. They will help you all the way till last.
In my case, now I have to give some more hard work and more effort, but its ok, at least I have ample of time in hand and going good so far. :) I will cover it. Electrical Networks is almost done. Few topics are remaining. And I am going to skip Network graphs. I will just have a look and thats it. This topic is going in my brain nerves and bugging me up. I feel damn sleepy after studying that particular topic.
In the coming posts, GATE papers analysis for Electrical Networks.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

My approach to solve GATE paper (GATE 2012 ECE)

[ Disclaimer : I will try to explain my approach to solve GATE paper with an example subject like Electrical Network (This subject is common to all the branch as this is a basic subject and thats why I selected this one). I need the proper background to start explaining the background so I request you to read the article patiently]

Electrical Networks was my one of the favorite subjects during my academics. (Though out of 9 core subjects, I like 8 of them ;) ) Especially electrical networks being a basic subject, I know most of it already. I am just not comfortable with '2-port network parameters' and 'Network Graphs'  from its syllabus.
This subject has Network analysis tools like 'Mesh and Nodal' but I feel in GATE, where calculators are allowed, I will stick to the basic KCL and KVL for simple type of problems. Unless and until problem will get lengthy, I prefer not to use advanced 'Mesh and Nodal analysis'. And for circuit simplication, 'STAR-DELTA conversion' is a way easy if you analyse the properly. During circuit analysis or most of the GATE paper, its better we stick to ATS (it is not Anti-Terrorist Squad or something), it is the main shortcut which will keep you away from falling in tricky questions set in GATE papers. ATS stands for Analyse, Thing and then Solve.
When my students solve their test papers, I observed one thing. Students just read the question and go for it. They just don't think what is given and how it can be done, as soon as they read the question (sometime they don't even read it completely) they start solving it and many time they fall in my trick of time consuming lengthy process. Thats why I invented ATS method to solve GATE paper (or any competitive exams). In exams like GATE which I negative marking scheme, I feel, its not important to attempt 100% question, instead try to attempt the most of them 100% accurracy. for example, if I attempt 10 question and get 4 wrong, where I took all the time to attempt all 10 question, in stead I may use the same amount of time to solve only 8 but with perfection.
So whenever we get paper in hand, (after doing all bribing and praying to God), have a quick look at the papers and observe that paper can be completed in 3 hours. (Coz why would they (IIT walas) design a paper which could be completed in specified time) Then start solving with the mentality that 'I need not to attempt everything, but how much I attempt, I need to attempt it perfectly'. Start solving paper, read the question twice (instead for only once) coz in first reading we may miss something or like P2 computers our mind may work slow in recalling the concept on that particular topic, so read it twice which will give our mind ample of time to think and choose the approach. This whole process of reading twice the question, I consider it as Analysis (A from ATS). If you do the first the first step of Analyzing properly then your mind will the rest for you automatically. Once mind is ready with the concept which you are going to use to solve that particular question, just don't jump for it. Give it few more seconds to select the approach for solving it. Coz there might a single way to solve the simple problem, but there must be a multiple ways to solve the questions which are asked in GATE (or any competitive exam). This 'selecting right approach', I called it as second step of my plan, Thinking (T from ATS). Once you have approach, go for it and if you have a single doubt or confusing leave that problem there itself and go for it. Coz once you have doubt then I suggest not to take risk of attempting it and getting negative marks. Solve the problems which are comfortable and confident throughout the paper first and then later you may come back to the problems you left and start thinking about it from scratch. Ok, so when you done with analysis and thinking, and you are confident about the concept and approach, all you need to do is to solve and find the answer i.e. third and final step of ATS viz. solving (S from ATS). And I am 100% sure once you follow the steps you will definately going to increase your score, by not solving more questions, but by not attempting question which are not sure of, in other words, by simply avoid negative marking.
This GATE paper solving strategy was developed by observing my mistakes in GATE 2009 and my students. It is a mixed life experimence and you may need to modify it as per your requirements. Comments if you make any changes in the approach so that I may learn something from you


Ghhooss!! What going on. My test series is going to start today. I just have less than 6 hours and in these hours i need to take 2 hours lect and also do things to live like bathing, eating, praying. :(
I think I am starting to messing up things. :( Its better if I isolate them before they get worse. I desperately need to manage my time minute by minute or even second by second just keep my dreams and ambitions within my reach. I am realizing the mistakes but it will not worth if I don't work them out. Need to focus on my students and my studies. How can be stay focused on both of these things. Damn!! Am I screwing up things?
I need something which helps me staying focus or in better to way present, which helps me staying oriented in direct direction (for time being I dont know which is the best direction for me)

I wish I had a magical pot like aladin had and if so then definately I could have wished the Genie to make day period as 50 hours/day instead of 24 hr/day. :P But that's not possible.

What all things I should consider to plot my time management things. I have to do typing test papers and pratice sheets for my students (apprx 3 hours daily), need to take 3 hours of lectures, 3 hours to keep me living (eating, bathing and praying, etc etc including little bit of entertainment after I am a HUMAN BEING.) I wish God would have fitted high torque motors instead of kidney, liver or muscle in my body. :) And most important I need to keep time for something which will anyway going to waste. I will keep 2 hours for it. And for proper functioning of my body and mind, i need at least 7 hours of sleep daily. So total 3 + 3 + 3 + 2 + 7 = 18 hours have been gone. I have 6 hours if I manage to study and practice for GATE even for 4-5 hours, I will be happy. If things are looking great on paper, then why am I messing up things from last two days.

I need to think about it. May be I need to keep my cellphone switch off most of the time when I studying or may be when I am typing papers for my student, I might be taking more time than alloted and messing things up or may be it is the fatigue that I face after the boring lecture (which I deliver ofcourse) or boring work of typing (for students).
A better plan for day to day life can save my butt from being flat. (its an hyperbol, don't take in the other way)

Its time to write about EN (Electrical Networks) so am I on my 2nd blog of the day.